In the the spirit of Thanksgiving I wanted to pause and remember the Transformers Collectors’ Club.
I was a member from the start to the finish and always looked forward to the annual membership exclusive figure.
Tomorrow will see the final mark-down in the closing sale of the TFCC store with everything dropping to 90% off. I’ve been following the thread on TFW2005 and some of the conversations there got me thinking about how much I’ll miss the Club. I’ve made three purchases from the clearance sale so far, only two of which have arrived, and expect to make one final purchase tomorrow.
Purchase #1 – Machine Wars Starscream, formerly attendees-only.
Purchase #2 – Diaclone Zaptrap with Spy-Eye and Beet-Chit.
While preparing this article, I took a look at my collection and realized just how many Fun Publications figures are still prominently displayed.
For me, it all started with Nexus Maximus and the translucent member exclusive figures that populated the first five years of the club. Here are Topspin and Breakaway from years 4 and 3 respectively.
The other three members may be referred to as Bots-Not-Appearing-in-This-Blog.
The only Botcon that I was able to attend was the 2007 convention in Providence Rhode Island and it made a lasting impact. Not only was it the perfect theme for me with it’s continuation of Classics but it was close to home and allowed me to attend the premiere of the first Transformers live-action movie. Here are Dreadwind, Thrust, Thundercracker and Bugbite from that year’s set.
Still my favorite, toy-accurate, version of Thrust.
The Classics Seeker mold is still a favorite of mine. It was also a favorite of the club; not only did we get Thundercracker and Thrust years early, we also got the More Than Meets The Eye Rainmakers (Bitstream, Hotlink and Sunstorm), G2 Ramjet and Japanese G1 catalog inspired Nacelle!
There is no other official mold with as many different versions available.
Generation 2 was a weird time in the franchise that not only spawned some neon repaints but also introduced modern levels of articulation. Botcon 2010 featured the Generation 2: Redux box set. Here we have Ramjet (not technically from Botcon but still G2), Rapido, Spark (rear), Streetstar and Breakdown.
Botcon 2013 brought us several Diaclone figures including Lift-Ticket and Zaptrap (with Spy-Eye and Beet-Chit) and the Waruder set (not pictured).
Punch took a mold that I already loved, Sideswipe/Sunstreaker, and cleverly updated the double-robot-moded G1 spy.
Side Burn from 2011 took another mold that I liked and gave it a new bluer life.
I was very disappointed when the Reveal the Shield Demolition Rumble was cancelled and I’ve wanted to pick up the United UN-20 Rumble & Frenzy set for years but never pulled the trigger. The Club Subscription Service gave me an opportunity to finally own this mold when they released it as Rewind & Eject as part of Series 2.
Based on an early prototype of Thrust from a G1 Japanese catalog, Nacelle gave me another opportunity to get the Botcon Thrust mold.
As mentioned in a previous post, one of their last exclusives (and the only Masterpiece figure that they released) was a Marvel Comics inspired repaint of the Ratbat mold, the only time this mold has been officially available in the US.
I should be in charge!
Probably the biggest thing the Club and Botcon added to Transformers lore was Shattered Glass, Transformers’ own “Mirror Mirror” evil doppelgangers. Not only was this revisited by the Club several times, there is even an official Masterpiece version of Shattered Glass Optimus Prime. Here we have heroic Decepticons Treadshot and Ravage.
Other Botcon Stragglers
Turbomaster (aka Scorch) and Spinister have also managed to remain on display over the years.
Anyone who’s spent any time in any TFCC-related thread on the TFW2005 boards knows that there is a certain portion of the fandom that simply cannot help themselves but to express their deep hatred of the Club and their glee that it is no longer around. I will never be one of them. I feel that the end of the Club and Botcon is a huge loss for Transformers collectors and, I fear, we are unlikely to ever see the same breadth of obscure characters again.